How Women's World Cup contenders shape up in the international breakNov 10, 2022Sophie LawsonEight months out from the start of the 2023 Women's World Cup, national teams will be using the last four remaining FIFA windows -- in November, February, April and June -- to prep for the upcoming tournament, with all but four of the qualified teams in action over the next week. - Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, and more (U. S. )For most, the emphasis is on pitting themselves against other teams who've punched their ticket for next summer's tournament. But with a raft of fixtures taking place over such a small amount of time, which are the ties to look out for? United States pick a stern testThe USA's double-header against Germany (7 p.
1 ranked team in the world will have to out-play their opposition, something they've struggled with over the past few years. For Germany, who very nearly added to their record eight European titles but lost to England in the final in the summer, their trip across the pond is much more about producing performances that speak to the quality available in their team. Much like her opposite number, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting players, but where she differs from Andonovski, the Germany head coach is a little more reticent about making changes when needed during matches. Up against a U.
Double-headers are the flavour of the monthChile vs. Philippines, Colombia vs. Zambia, Jamaica vs. Paraguay, Senegal vs. Cameroon and New Zealand vs. South Korea all on the slate for two head-to-head games over the coming week as well. Although they're maybe not the matches that would have you traditionally wanting to watch, with six of the eight nations already qualified and the other two of Chile and Paraguay in the playoffs, there should be plenty of excitement around the four clashes. The lowest-ranked nation at the tournament next summer -- unless Cameroon, ranked 84th by FIFA, qualify through their playoff group -- Zambia (No.
Opting for just the one match this window, against Norway, France are still looking for answers in attack since the loss of Marie Antoinette-Katoto to an ACL injury during the Euros. It's a similar problem to Katoto's club team, PSG, and just like the French giants, there may well be no easy answer for manager Corinne Diacre. On an unprecedented unbeaten run, European champions England will be sparring with Japan on Friday and Norway on Tuesday. Having beaten the U. last month, the Lionesses will feel good about claiming two wins from two, but trying to maintain their course from their Euros win into the World Cup will be a tricky task for Sarina Wiegman.
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23) await the winner of Cameroon (No. 58) vs. Thailand (No. 41), which gives more weight to the friendly pair of matches Senegal and Cameroon will play in Dakar -- both African nations are two matches from a place at the World Cup, but neither are considered favourites. This window is the last chance for nations like Senegal and Cameroon to work on their shortcomings before they attempt to join the fun next summer in Australia and New Zealand. Other teams looking for tests in EuropeStill looking for their feet under coach Futoshi Ikeda, Japan are once again in Europe this month as they face England (Friday) and Spain (Tuesday), the latter the last team they'll meet in their World Cup group at the end of July.
The key for manager Bev Priestman will be how flexible she makes her midfield, with her Brazil team expected to attack at will. The Olympic gold medal-winning coach will need to find a way of keeping the team strong while allowing a player like Jessie Fleming, who is in plumb form for Chelsea, to contribute to the attack in transition. As for that attacking Brazil team? Coach Pia Sundhage has finally found some consistency in their results since the retirement of Formiga (aged 43) and Marta's ACL tear earlier this year. The Swedish coach has discovered the right blend of older and younger players, of defence and attack, and of those who play in the Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol Feminino with those who play outside of Brazil.
81) delighted novice audiences with their fearless play at the Olympics last year, though they need experience against teams outside Africa as they ready themselves for their first World Cup. Opting to face Colombia (No. 27), who featured at two of the last three World Cups, should provide a stern test and should help the Copper Queens when it comes to playing teams from Latin America as Costa Rica were drawn in their World Cup group. The same ought to be true for Colombia, who will be given a boost playing a CAF team, with fellow African debutantes Morocco (No. 76) in their group next summer.
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For Spain, who will spar with Argentina before facing Japan, there are ample distractions off the pitch with the majority of the Barcelona and Basque contingent still missing from the squad due to the dispute with the federation and no clear end in sight. As such, the squad Jorge Vilda has called in has a distinctly young feel to it, with 13 of the 23 born in the 2000s. The coach and his charges would have taken great heart from beating the USA last time out, but Japan will be a different problem for them. A win wouldn't necessarily be building confidence, but with Spain known for struggling to put their best attacking football on display at major tournaments, it could be a road map for their trickiest World Cup group game next summer.
side that will start with as much talent on the bench as on the pitch, reaction will be as vital as action for the Europeans and for Voss-Tecklenburg, who waited until the very last second to go to her bench when she needed to at the Euros. This feisty double-header will require her to be more proactive in her management. play1:05Julie Foudy says England has the slight edge over the United States right now. North America clashes with South AmericaThe U. and Germany are far from the only nations that have chosen to play each other twice this month.
An all-European affairElsewhere on the continent, Norway will clash with France (Friday) before taking on England (Tuesday), which will provide new manager Hege Riise some much needed answers as she attempts to rebuild the team after humiliation at the Euros. Still new to the team, Riise is not just without the best two players in the Norwegian talent pool right now -- Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hansen -- but is trying to bring in fresh talent. Norway may well come away with two losses from their two matches, but the important thing for Riise will be the performances.
Still without captain Leah Williamson, the Lionesses are trying to navigate new terrain without Ellen White and Jill Scott following their retirements. Although this opens up chances for peripheral and bench players, we know that once Wiegman picks her favoured 11, it's hard for others to stake their claim. Elsewhere in EuropeAnother team travelling far this month are Costa Rica (No. 37 per FIFA), who will be returning to the World Cup after missing out on the tournament in France in 2019. They have friendlies against Netherlands (Friday) and Portugal (Tuesday). Portugal will be looking for games to keep them warm and well-oiled heading into their playoff in February, while the Dutch are still fumbling around for an identity since losing the mercurial Wiegman to England. Having parted ways with Wiegman's replacement, Mark Parsons, shortly after a disappointing and disjointed Euros campaign, the Dutch narrowly qualified for the World Cup and have been searching for how they want to play under new boss, Andries Jonker.
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